No matter what the result is from tomorrow’s election there is much more the federal government can do to support the broader event industry. The first is to acknowledge that the event industry operates at both national and state levels.
So far the current government has pushed most responsibility back to the states, the exceptions being COVID related emergency funding; JobKeeper, the Business Events Grants Programme and the RISE Fund (Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand). The biggest failure at the federal level was to refuse to back a national insurance scheme for events cancelled because of government decisions, I include so called “natural disasters”, which are contributed to by the lack of government action on climate change.
At the state level the main players are static – venues, accommodation and hospitality, along with smaller event management businesses and suppliers.
Conferences, exhibitions, music tours and some music festivals might be run from a single city office but they rotate or tour from state to state. The major event technology companies have offices in each state; even my own photography business is a national operation. Although companies can get Australiawide coverage for most insurances, workers compensation coverage is state based.
Although tourism, the arts, festivals and events are all linked they are represented by different federal departments – tourism, trade, arts all have different ministers.
Let’s hope that following the election the various bodies representing business events, festivals, music, arts, tourism, hospitality and accommodation can form a combined voice to the federal government to ensure that at the next election we might actually get a mention.
The only policy launch I’ve seen for any of these sectors was the Labor’s Cultural Policy launch by Chris Bowen (who happens to be my local member and I have not yet been able to meet or even talk to). At least this policy should have the backing of the Greens as it largely fits with their arts manifesto.
One of the biggest issues currently affecting the tourism/hospitality/events sector is staffing and we have two views on the subject this week.
Gary Fitz-Roy is concerned that things are not as rosy as some are making out as events return – short staffed and with rising costs
Last October NSW Premier Perrottet’s reopening of the state of NSW was met with celebration. As we emerged double vaccinated to ‘live with Covid’ we all anticipated getting back to normalcy, however, the hospitality industry is still cocooned waiting to fully emerge from the impact of multiple lockdowns.
I’ve been a volunteer at the national Folk Festival for a number of years and looked at how the festival fared this year.
NB in the article I stated that the NFF had run at a loss for a number of years. This has been rebuffed by Pam Merrigan who was the Artistic and Managing Director from 2012 to 2020. Please scroll down beyond the end of the story to read her comments.
This year’s festival was a struggle and I’ve decided to review it from the perspective of my 40+ years’ of experience in theatre and events, and as a case study for other festivals. This is not an artistic review; I’m looking at how festivals come back after a major setback.
I’m looking forward to Vivid Sydney which kicks off next Friday. We go behind the scenes with one of the major suppliers
It’s fun to walk past the amazing sites along the 8km Vivid Sydney Light Walk and view the spectacle of culture and art. Ever wondered what it’s like to work behind the scenes to bring these amazing animations to life?
And talking of Vivid Sydney I note that Andrew Walsh is back at the helm of the revamped White Night in Geelong, Bendigo and Shepparton. Andrew was the first director of White Night Melbourne and steered it through its formative years.